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Injury Prevention Conf. Joins Call To Ban Fireworks

Injury prevention conference joins calls for fireworks sales ban

Injury prevention experts and practitioners at a national conference in Wellington have joined calls for a ban on over-the-counter sales of fireworks. The conference – Living and Playing Safely in Aotearoa New Zealand – has brought together over 150 people with expertise in injury prevention.

“There has been a tripling of fireworks-related incidents over the past four years,” says Injury Prevention Network of Aotearoa New Zealand Chairperson Sandra James.

“In addition, the large increase in imported fireworks is likely to lead to an increase in sales this year, and therefore, potentially an increase in injuries.

“If over-the-counter sales were banned, people could still enjoy fireworks at supervised displays. The spectacle would still be there, but in a safe environment.”

She said that while no published figures on the number of people hurt by fireworks were available, emergency services reported many incidents every year.

“These include burns and damage to eyes, hands and the head and face.”

Conference attendees have endorsed calls by bodies such as the fire service and the SPCA for over-the-counter sales of fireworks to be banned.

“The Government’s refusal to consider such a move seems to be out of step with public opinion, and is unnecessarily exposing people to the risk of injury.”

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